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Author Topic: Weeping rudder  (Read 4783 times)

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spirith34

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Weeping rudder
« on: August 10, 2006, 03:57:40 AM »

Hi all
have just pulled "Spirit" out of water and have noticed rusty water weeping from rudder
remebered reading something about mild steel used to attach rudder to shaft
is there a measurement that i can use to drill a hole  to view condition of steel attached to shaft ?
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Ron Hill

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2006, 01:36:08 PM »

Spirit : You didn't mention your production year or your hull #.  I'll guess that you've got a early MKI 1986 - 1990????

Yes, you did read correctly that a common steel grid was welded to the stainless rudder column. Then the foam and glass were layed over it.  You've got a crack (at least one ) in that area where the stainless column enters the rudder and water is seeping in.  You might even have some other cracks??  This has been written up a number of times. 
What you need to do is drill some holes (mid and lower portion) in the rudder for, aft and bottom to let the water out.  Then slightly lower the rudder and gouge out the rudder area around the stainless column.  When things are dry take 3M 5200 and reseal that area and fill the drill holes you made.   
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steve stoneback

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2006, 01:48:01 PM »

Ron,
I have the same issue, 1989 Hull 918.  I understand the procedure and fix but I have one probably dumb question...... fill the holes in the rudder with what?  epoxy resin, polyester resin, 5200 or something else.
steve s
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Steve Stoneback
Grasmere
1989 #918
Lake Oahe Pierre, SD

Ron Hill

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2006, 02:53:40 PM »

Steve : I'd advise to use some epoxy paste as it's easy to work with.  Then when cured sand it down, but not too smooth or the bottom paint won't stick.   :thumb:
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Ron, Apache #788

spirith34

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 03:36:01 PM »

spirit is a 1986 hull no 49
it lives in melbourne australia
brought in miami and shipped here in sept 2005
should i drill out foam arround rudder shaft to check welds
as well as drain water ???
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Ron Hill

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 06:18:48 PM »

Spirit : Boy, that's a tough question to answer knowing where your are.

I'll guess that that rudder has been weeping from day 1 and the grid is probably very corroded!!  The boats probably been is salt water its' entire life.   If you have a place locally I'd see if they be willing to open up your rudder lay up, remove the old grid, weld a stainless grid in place, add new foam, re-contour and cover it in glass. 
You could get a new rudder layed up on your old stainless column or a completely new rudder from the factory in Calif. USA, but don't think that's practical knowing you're in Australia. 
A Thought.  :think 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2006, 08:11:09 AM by Ron Hill »
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Mark G

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 06:28:56 PM »

On  my '91, I get rust stains that weep from above and down onto the rudder. Last year, I removed the plate covering the top of the rudder post and noticed it was full of water. When I removed the water, the weeping stopped. I come out, unfortunately, in another couple months. Should I do something about it?
Thanks.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 10:23:10 PM »

Feb 1992
May 1993
May 1997

Tech Notes discuss weeping rudders and rudderstocks, per the Maisnheet Index
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Footloose

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2006, 03:46:17 AM »

To know shat should be done with the rudder, repair or replace, one needs to know how much of it has water in it.  If it is in a small portion it can probally be repaired.  If it is soaked throughout, it probally needs to be replaced.  A boat yard or a marine surveyor with a moisture meter should be able to tell you the answer in a minute or less.
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Dave G.
"Footloose"
Hull# 608  1988 Tall Rig/Fin Keel
Malletts Bay, VT- Lake Champlain

Bruce Hanson

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2006, 06:17:54 AM »

Spirit, One option to consider is removing the rudder from the boat, taking it home and making a off season project of it. The composit repair process is simplified by the horizontal position of the rudder as well as  being able to do a little at a time. If the primary structure is not corroded then you will be dollars and experience ahead doing it your self. Having the unit out of the boat also  gives you a excellent opportunity to inspect or replace the control cables.

Don't overestimate this project, it is a relatively simple job that will increase your confidence in the boat. Good luck!
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Ron Hill

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 09:29:26 AM »

Mark : Read the articles that Stu pointed out.  Fill the inside of the SS column with some "Gluevit" and repair where the column enters the layup as I've mentioned above.

Spirit : I consider myself fairly handy and added a piece to the aft of my rudder, making it into an elliptical rudder.  I've made a new rudder for a 26' sailboat out of plywood and sanded the contour into shape then glassed over the outside. 
However, I don't think I've got the skill and equipment to take on a C34 rudder as Bruce suggested.  I don't know Catalina's process, but I believe that after the ss grid is welded onto the ss column, that assembly is probably put into a mold and filled with foam. (to get the tapered contour of the "airfoil").  Then it's glassed over and sprayed with gelcoat.   
You might ask the factory the shipping cost of sending you a new $1500 rudder to AUSTRALIA (+customs), but I think you still might be better off $$ wise getting somebody locally to do the job for you.     

« Last Edit: August 13, 2006, 12:06:19 PM by Ron Hill »
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spirith34

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2006, 05:21:06 AM »

thanks for all your input
boat is on the hard stand at the moment
will try drilling next to rudder post to try and pick up the mesh welded to the stock to check welds
would be nice to know how far down stock mesh is welded
drilled 1 inch hole near botton of rudder no water seeped out
very keen to do ron hills rudder mod as winds over here always 15 to 20 knots
and she rounds up very easy
will let u know of outcome
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Jeff Kaplan

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2006, 08:12:26 AM »

spirit, i had to replace the rudder on my '86 #219. did it this season. the rudder was weeping and the surveyor told me, bought boat 3 years ago, to watch it. aside from weeping, i noticed when the rudder was taken off, there was corrosion  happening on the post as it goes into the rudder.sent pics to catalina and they advised me to get new rudder. look for this and if you see any, don't bother drilling, just call catalina and order a replacement...jeff
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#219, 1986 tall rig/shallow draft. "sedona sunset" atlantic-salem,ma

Ron Hill

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2006, 12:14:01 PM »

Spirit : I wouldn't make those holes quite so large - 3/8 or 1/2" should be plenty big.

Call the factory and ask them about the grid.  I'm sure that they have a drawing that'll give an approx size and location of the grid.  You might also ask them if there happens to be any Catalinas being shipped to an Australian dealer from the California plant?  A new C34 rudder might be able to "hitch a ride"??
A few thoughts. 
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Stephen Butler

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Re: Weeping rudder
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2006, 02:33:37 PM »

We replaced the rudder on our 1990, C34, after damage from Wilma.  I will post pictures of the damaged rudder, if I can locate them.  The rudder had the stainless tube connected to the mild steel grid.  When the boat went over on her side, the rudder was bent 90 degrees, exposing the grid and pulling it away from the structure.  The interesting point of all this, is that the grid was severely corroded, and would have most likely failed in another year or two...and yet we had no indication, no rust, no weeping, no surveys, nada, to indicate that we were about to have a problem.  We replaced the rudder with the "new" shape and grid material.  Since then, we have been caught in the occasional "rough conditions" and invariably think about the change, and the what-if scenerios.  Should also mention that the new shape makes for much improved handling.  Hope this is of help.   
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Steve & Nancy
Wildflecken II
1990, #1023
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